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Thread: Aida - Blu-Ray/DVD recommendations?

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    Senior Member Oreb's Avatar
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    Default Aida - Blu-Ray/DVD recommendations?

    What's the one to get? What should I avoid?

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    I still think the best is from the Arena di Verona with Maria Chiara, Nicola Martinucci and Fiorenza Cossotto.
    Its the usual kind of Arena production from the late 80's i would have thought.

    I love Nicola Martinucci as Radames. His Celesta Aida is superb. He was one hell of a tenor -see his Calaf as an example.
    Maria Chiara is a very good Aida - looks the part and has all the notes. Pity we did not see more of her.

    I have other DVDs with Domingo from the Met (not bad but he seems tired and is breathless at times). Aprile Millo is a very nice Aida and so i would put this in second place.

    A more modern production with Nina Stemme and the now sadly deceased Salvatore Licitra has a horrible production and both singers seem out of their comfort zone. Difficult to watch this one.

    The new Met DVD with Urmana and Botha -give it a miss. Its like watching 2 bouncings balls have a fight!

    Same with the DVD with Alagna and Urmana. Not for me -Alagna seems over stretched in the famous scene where he was booed at the end of 'Celesta Aida'. Horrible production.

    The one i never understood was the rave reviews for the DVD with Kate Aldrich and Scott Piper. It was filmed in a small opera house and lots of people like the 'intimacy' it brought. I did not like the singing or the production.

    I think in general it is a difficult opera to present to the public - only the Arena di Verona one works for me and its the one i come back to. Otherwise stick with the Zinka Milanov/Jussi Bjorling cd recording!

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    I have a soft spot for the Aida of Gabriella Tucci (accompanied by Del Monaco, Simionato, Protti,...) in Tokyo, back in the early 1960s. As there are several scenes in youtube, you can check if it would make it for you, too:


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    Junior Member mchriste's Avatar
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    I am very interested in this as well. For me there's no limit to how "big" an Aida production should be - the more singers, dancers, critters are on stage during the triumph march, the better! The only version I have is a HDTV capture of the Verona 2012 version with Hui He and Marco Berti (youtube here)
    Unfortunately, I was not too impressed with much of the singing. And the exaggerated make-up, which I understand is necessary to emphasize facial features for the audience in such a large setting, really distracts me in the close-up camera work.

    The Met version recommended by TC (Levine 1989) lacks quite a bit in picture quality.
    I also saw the La Scala (Chailly 2008) DVD and while the production is fabulous, it is unfortunately utterly ruined by the terrible camera work / editing choices. When I saw the reviews on Amazon complaining about this I didn't take them seriously (how bad can it really be?) but I can confirm that all the fade-in / fade-outs make the triumph march effectively unwatchable

    I would love to see some footage of the superlative chinese production of Aida...

    Speaking of which, is there any footage of the 1951 production where one critic complained that "it was difficult to discern Callas' ankles from those of the elephant"... ?

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